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Tasker tops scales with whopping 79kg pumpkin

October 18th, 2020

The pupils at Monmouth School Boys’ Prep have shone once again in the annual pumpkin-growing competition.

Seven-year-old Tasker almost broke the scales this year with his whopping pumpkin weighing 79kg (just over 12 stone, six pounds).

Tasker’s pumpkin was so heavy that his dad had difficulty moving it from the school car park and into the building.

Tasker planted the pumpkin seeds in a pot at his family’s home in May.

His family had some building work at their Usk home over the summer so Tasker transferred the seeds to a family friend’s vegetable patch in Llandogo in July.

“I watered the seeds once every couple of weeks and we surrounded the patch with manure and compost,” said Tasker.

“A few pumpkins started to grow in the patch and we left two in the ground.”

The soil in the family friend’s large vegetable patch appeared very fertile and the field itself is surrounded by wildlife, including deer.

“It was great fun looking after the pumpkins and I was really excited to water them and to see them grow,” said the seven-year-old.

“I was amazed that one of pumpkins almost grew as big as me. It was so big that my dad found it hard to get it out of the ground, so I could enter the competition.”

Josh, aged nine, grew the second heaviest pumpkin, weighing 22kg.

And 11-year-old Huw illustrated his growing skills after his pumpkin weighed in at 19.2kg.

Prizes were also handed out for the ‘best colour’, ‘most perfect shape’, and ‘most perfect Cinderella-like carriage’.

The pumpkin-growing competition is a long-standing tradition at Monmouth School Boys’ Prep and always one of the highlights of the academic year.

Due to the current restrictions, the entries were weighed and assessed within each year group.

Pupils enjoyed explaining to their own year group how they grew their fruit and the boys enthusiastically tried to guess the weight of each pumpkin before it was placed on the scales.

Headteacher, Mr Neil Shaw, said: “Growing a pumpkin successfully can take up to 12 months and involves a lot of care and attention, so the children showed excellent judgement, nurturing skills and dedication during a very difficult time.

“The weather conditions over the summer were very challenging too for all home gardeners and growers.”

Mr Shaw added: “Everyone who took part this year should be very satisfied with their outstanding and eye-catching efforts.”

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